- What kind of "beast"?
- Using these creatures
- How to breed a mealworm?
- Worm Breeding Conditions
- Food for some animal species
- How to get rid of a pest?
- Small conclusion
Scientifically, a flour worm is a larva of a beetle from the genus Tenebrio (lat.). His family is called Chernotelki. In Russian, the name of the beetle sounds very prosaic - Khrushchak, and the larvae are called bone-bones.
What kind of "beast"?
These insects can hardly be called inhabitants of a certain continent. They are shipped all over the world by food merchants. Therefore, Khrushchaks can safely be assigned the status of cosmopolitans. And where do the "kids" of these beetles grow and develop? The fact that they are known as "floury" already gives a good clue. Females choose mills and bakeries, warehouses with flour products as an "incubator" for white testicles. You can also find larvae under feeders or nests in chicken coops and dovecotes. Bones are in the development stage for a whole year.
During this time they molt four times, enjoying bran, bread, grains and flour with pleasure. Do not disdain the "children" of the Khrushchaks and animal food. These are the dried corpses of birds and mice, the remains of feathers that come across in the nesting places of birds. Subsequently, the larvae pupate without a cocoon, and in July-August they turn into one and a half centimeter brown, slightly shiny flat barbels.
For various reasons, it is the flour worm that causes the greatest interest among people. His appearance is unlikely to seem attractive to ordinary people. However, entomologists describe them with great sympathy. Length 2.5-3 centimeters, some even reach four. The color of the cylindrical body is brownish-yellow. There are no eyes, but the bones are the owners of three pairs of pectoral legs with claws. The body of the larvae ends with two hooks that look up, and below there are two small warts. It is a kind of pushing mechanism for movement. An interesting fact: the flour worm was already known in the first century BC. Pompey's associate, encyclopedic scientist, tribune, writer and poet Mark Terentius Varro mentioned him as Tenebrion in his work De re rustica - "About Agriculture". He shared the first knowledge of what mealworms are.
Using these creatures
Bone, like the beetle, for many - just a pest. But avid fishermen, as well as owners of birds and amphibians, are aware of the useful purpose of the larvae. Reptiles, birds, amphibians, invertebrates eat them with great pleasure. When using larvae as food, it should be remembered that this is a very high-calorie treat. For example, if you give more than five budgerigars a day, then the winged friend can quickly gain excess weight, which, combined with inactivity, leads to obesity.
Another purpose of the bone is a bait or nozzle. Fishermen are guaranteed a good catch of roach,chub, rudd and other non-predatory fish. Thanks to a rather rigid shell, the larva does not fly off, holding firmly on any hook. It is used both in bottom and float fishing, as well as in floating equipment.
Mealworm is a high-demand product in bird markets, pet stores and, of course, anglers. You can buy it regularly, even stock up. The larvae are stored for a very long time, up to several weeks. The main thing is to follow simple rules: temperature, good ventilation. But there is another win-win option for those who use the bones constantly or want to earn extra money. Cultivation at home. This process does not require large financial investments and physical and time costs.
How to breed a mealworm?
First, you should equip the place of settlement and breeding. Depending on the volume of future production, these can be special trays or large boxes that do not have slots, the walls and bottom of which are best upholstered with tin. The lid in both the first and second cases should be a lattice with very small holes. The bottom is covered with bran, flour, sawdust, ground breadcrumbs with a layer of 5-10 centimeters. On top, you can put sheets of thick paper or cardboard.
The next stage is the acquisition of producers, beetles. You can use pupae, but in this case the first step of the process will take much longer. Families are placed in structures prepared for breeding. The number of individuals depends on the desired result.
Worm Breeding Conditions
Two months after laying, mealworms appear from the eggs of beetles. Breeding larvae requires the fulfillment of several conditions:
- humidity - a desirable indicator of not more than 50 percent;
- temperature regime - optimally 26-28 degrees, but not lower than 20.
It is better to feed queen cells with grated carrots, potatoes, beets, and other vegetables. Lay a new treat once every two days, mixing in bran. In addition, pieces of raw or boiled fish and daphnia can be given as protein food.
Food for some animal species
Ready-made larvae can be used as pet food, sold through pet stores or bird markets. In addition, it is necessary to leave a certain amount of bones for subsequent production. In separate containers with similar conditions, selected individuals are located, which then pupate and grow up to beetles. The process can be restarted. Hrushchaki eat vegetables and fruits, only they should be fed once or twice a day, while it is desirable, of course, to remove the remains of the previous meal.
How to get rid of a pest?
Speaking of larvae and beetles, we must remember their harmfulness. They can destroy food, as well as contaminate it with skins that are shed during molting and excrement. Feed mills, mills, poultry farms, grain warehouses, etc. are most susceptible to their attacks.
At home, most often foundin cereals and flour. But he's not so scary, a flour worm. How to get rid of it? Carefully close all containers containing endangered products. If the pests have already started, then the bulk product should be sieved. That's it.
Now you know what a flour worm is, what it eats and how it reproduces. We hope this information will help you in the future if you want to breed it.